Here is a business technology travel checklist to keep you connected on the road:
Power adapters: Canada and the U.S. are on a 120-volt system, but most countries aren’t. Check en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country and make sure you get an adapter for your destination. Most kits come with multiple adapters, so you can buy one kit and use it in the future.
Multiple devices: When you travel, you run the risk of a device being lost, stolen or damaged. Bring backups if possible. Don’t forget power cords and chargers for your devices.
Roaming and data package: Roaming and data can pile up when traveling outside the country. Call ahead to your mobile provider, get a travel plan and save money.
Alternative to text messaging: Most service providers have roaming fees for text messaging. Even with a travel plan, your messages may still be limited. Downloading WhatsApp Messenger (www.whatsapp.com) allows you to send messages across different mobile operating systems without paying for roaming.
WiFi or hardwire: Not every hotel has WiFi or Internet. Find out if the cost of Internet is included or how much the extra charge is. If the cost is astronomical, you might want to choose other accommodations. WeFi.com helps locate and manage WiFi for Android or PC/netbook. Some hotels might not even have WiFi, so make sure you have an Ethernet port on your laptop.
Beware of censorship: Some countries block access to certain websites. Before you travel, determine which sites are accessible. Sites like: www.GreatFireWallofChina.org and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_by_country give you censorship information.
Foreign exchange calculator: XE (www.xe.com/tools.php) offers tools for calculating currency conversion for 85 of the world’s top currencies. It also has tools to calculate travel expenses and accounting for hidden foreign charges.
Easy tracking of travel expenses: Numerous tools like JustTheBill.com (a Canadian company) and Expensify allow you to record receipts with a phone and export to an expense report.
Backups and hard copies: Technology today can still fail. If you have an important meeting or presentation, always bring a copy on a USB flash drive and a hard copy.
Other recommended apps:
• Citymaps2go.com for iPhone/iPad and Android: maps that work offline without incurring data charges;
• Tripit.com: travel itinerary planner and organizer.
Note – Adapted from the original article published in Business in Vancouver on May 14, 2013.